14th Animation Division Grand Prize
The Tatami Galaxy
Animated TV series [Japan]
The story is told from the perspective of a proud third-year college student “I” dreaming of a “rosy campus life.” “I” get pushed around by my companion in folly, OZU, and the enigmatic free spirit, Master HIGUCHI, and cannot easily get acquainted with the solitary girl, AKASHI. What would have happened if “I” had chosen a different path back then? This is an extraordinary film of magic by director YUASA Masaaki, with composition and script by UEDA Makoto and other high-profile creators. An unusual intriguing story of unproductive and foolish acts of youth takes the audience to a journey through a strange world.
Reason for Award
Richly expressive work that turns the limitations of TV on its head
This piece truly overflows with expressiveness and is befitting of the very first Grand Prize given to a TV animation. The artist carefully researched sceneries of Kyoto and added his own stylistic distortions to create the animated spaces and characters of this film. To these, a fast-talking monologue is layered over top to complete a powerful piece of animation.
While animation designed for television is often subject to commercial limitations and therefore tends to get tied down by stereotypical ideas. This piece, however, has turned the broadcasting cycle of one story per week on its own head by adopting a style of repetitive representation. Further, through its unique scene layouts, characters’ actions and color scheme, it has successfully achieved a level of openness and freedom that match the storyline, attracting the interest of a wide variety of viewers.
The main character, who repeatedly resets his time in hopes of making better choices for himself, is a representation of today’s youth generation. However, in the last two segments, he gradually starts to open up, away from a place of isolation and begins to aspire toward his future, and this deserves high praise.